Tuesday, April 29, 2008

4 K8

I love it when a song comes on and instantly reminds you of a good friend. The way you stop what you are doing to wonder how they are doing and to think about the last time you saw them.

K8 – Hope the summer is just around the bend and that your new life in Boston is the stuff of dreams!



She said I think I'll go to Boston...

I think I'll start a new life,

I think I'll start it over, where no one knows my name,

I'll get out of California; I'm tired of the weather,

I think I'll get a lover and fly ‘em out to Spain...

I think I'll go to Boston,

I think that I'm just tired

I think I need a new town, to leave this all behind...

I think I need a sunrise; I'm tired of the sunset,

I hear it's nice in the summer; some snow would be nice... oh yeah,

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Escaping Delhi

Last Friday was a holiday, so five of us decided to get out of Delhi for the long weekend, this is our adventure:We were barely out of Delhi and Leo was snoring (literally) in the back seat of the Innova.
The landscape outside the city isn't that different from what I'm used to seeing in the Western US
Passing through a small town along the road
The hotel for Friday night
The Neemrana Fort-Palace was built in the 1400s
And renovated in the 1990's
The courtyard outside of my room
At sunset
The hotel had dozens of levels
and exploring it was better than hiking
It was the coolest hotel I've ever stayed in, even if it was slightly dirty with barely average food
Saturday, we were off to another city/hotel, but not before stopping to check out the process for moving stone slabs up the hill
Halfway there, when we broke down
An hour later and much sweatier than planned, we arrived at stop two, the Pataudi Palace
The former home of a famous cricketer
Leo FINALLY got to get up and personal with a camel
On the way home, bad luck struck again with a flat tire
Luckily, we broke down in front of a repair shop.

What a fun trip - it was great to get away from Delhi and see a tiny bit more of the country. India really is a fabulous place. In honor of our road trip, one of my favorite road songs, Dierks Bentley's "Lot of Leavin' Left to Do"

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I had one of those moments yesterday when I looked around and couldn't figure out how I got there. I'm not talking about the physical "there" - I know that Pankaj dropped me off at Lajpat Nagar Market so I could waste a little time shopping in a new market. I wasn't even struggling with the the question of how I came to be living in India - I know a couple of decisions I've made along the way are responsible for that. What I couldn't figure out is why it felt completely natural to be wandering through the market on my own.

I didn't see another white face in the 90 minutes I was there. I had beggar kids following me and every salesperson was trying to pull me to their stall, it was crowded, smelly, hot, dirty and loud and I felt as if I belonged there.

Somehow during the past few years I've change enough that it now feels natural to me to be the minority, the one who doesn't quite fit in the picture. It's no longer uncomfortable to be surrounded by sights, sounds and smells that are completely new. I'm not saying it isn't still exciting to be someplace like India, because it is, and I still feel like I learn something new everyday. But, it feels as if my mind and body have accepted that it is normal to be constantly bombarded by images and feelings that aren't familiar. The time on the road has also made me confident enough in myself to know that I can walk into a situation like the market Saturday or a meeting with a new set of executives on Monday and be okay - I know I can handle it. It was a nice moment of recognition and one of those moments in life where I was completely at peace.

I'm not running
I'm not hiding
I'm not reaching
I'm just resting in the arms of the great wide open
- Mary Chapin Carpenter
"Almost Home"

As a side note, if you aren't a Mary Chapin Carpenter fan you should be, her songs define my life, make me sing along, and occasionally, even make me cry.
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Thursday, April 24, 2008


I woke up today singing Travis Tritt's "A Great Day To Be Alive" - here's hoping it's a sign my luck has changed and not just my subconscious' effort to play Pollyanna.

It's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes

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Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, err Week

I feel a bit like Alexander from one of my favorite childhood stories, but since I'm an adult and not a child, I think my luck has stretched from a bad day to a bad week. I wasn't expecting a bad week, I'd just come off a great weekend - I finally got away from Delhi and stayed at a great place a few hours out of town (I'll post some photos and experiences this weekend.) I woke up okay, got dressed got in the car to come to work and knew instantly that something wasn't right. Yup - Delhi Belly struck again. I figured I've survived this a few times, no big deal, I'll rest up today, drink plenty of liquid and be fine to go. But thanks to the hotter than hot temperatures, dehydration and my inability to keep food down I'm still not feeling myself. (Mom if your reading this, it's not that bad, I'm just whinging as my Aussie friends would say.)

I wasn't ready to write the week off until today, I double booked myself and left a nice guy waiting for me at the coffee shop. This poor guy had driven across the city (not a short trip here in Delhi) and waited for me for who knows how long before he called, I felt terrible. I couldn't break away and had to ask him to come back later.

When I went to meet him this afternoon, I got there early to hit the ATM. I climbed the rickety stairs to the little booth only to discover the ATM wasn't working, which meant I'd have to get my cash from the other machine which gave me a fake bill the week before! I was mad and wasn't paying attention as I climbed down the rickety stairs and either missed a step or my foot (which was covered in dust from the Office/Demolition Site) slipped and down I went, of course it was in the middle of a crowd! With a scraped elbow, aching head and dented pride, I limped off to the shady ATM. Here's hoping it didn't cheat me this week.

There's only one song that works for today: REM's "Bad Day"

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture
It's been a bad day

NOTE: No political statement here, just fit my mood.
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beautiful Day

Monday was one of those perfect days you wish would roll around more often. It was a holiday here (although which holiday none of us knows.) Normally for the folks I work with, a holiday means a day you sleep in 30 minutes, dress down and work from home. But Monday my flat mates and I got up and came in the dining room about the same time, looked at each other and said “stuff it we’re going to take an actual holiday.”

I was the only one who was really up and ready for the day, so I called the other two guys who work with us and asked if they wanted to take the car and explore for a while in the morning. They were up for it so the 3 of us went and explored Humayun’s Tomb, a world heritage site. Since we got there around 10AM and Delhi is not a morning city, we were nearly alone there for about the first 40 minutes. Then, just as we moved onto the big, centerpiece of the site, 5 tour buses full of German tourists moved it, things were a little less peaceful after that, but still interesting.

We eventually got tired of taking pictures (well, to be more truthful, two of our cameras had dead batteries.) So, we found our driver and had him drive us in the nice air conditioned car past India Gate (basically Delhi’s version of the Arc de Triomphe) and then headed back home to let the others have a go at the car and to cool off (it hit 107 here yesterday.)

Since the second group to get the car was my flat mates I decided to tag along with them also to our favorite market, Khan Market. We started by booking hotel rooms at a resort a few hours out of the city for this weekend. We’re going to stay at a former fort/palace built in the 1400’s. Then we split up to shop for a few hours. I hit my favorite book stores and stocked up for the trip, then went to my favorite juice bar/coffee shop for a light snack and got a head start on my reading. Eventually we all met up again and headed back home for an afternoon nap.

A few hours later we invited everyone over to our flat and ordered in Thai food for a group dinner. We finished the night in front of the telly catching a cricket match and eating brownies E made. The end to an all around beautiful day, the kind Bono & the boys must have been thinking about when they wrote Beautiful Day:

You’re on the road

But you’ve got no destination

You’re in the mud

In the maze of her imagination

You love this town

Even if that doesn’t ring true

You’ve been all over

And it’s been all over you

It’s a beautiful day

Don’t let it get away

It’s a beautiful day

Since the batteries in my camera were the first to die, I’ll add pictures of the Tomb in another post. Pin It

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This past Saturday my work team got up early to beat the heat and went to the main stadium here in Delhi to move out of our old office there. The stadium was never a pleasant place for an office, but it is currently being demolished and it reached a state a couple of months ago where we decided it wasn’t safe to work from anymore (although others continue to work from them today.)

Because they have demolished the nearly all the stairways leading to the main corridor we had to put our stuff on chairs and roll it 1/3 of the way around the stadium to the one remaining staircase to get it down to the car level.

It took 3 van loads and a bunch of very dirty people to get things moved.

You can’t really get a sense of just how dirty we and everything in the office was by just looking at pictures. But trust me when I say Christina wasn’t half as “Dirty” as we were.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008


I finished a book hours ago (see my last post) and wasn't in the mood to start to start a new one. It's too hot to go for a walk (over 100 degrees here today) and since I've arrived in India I've discovered TV has no real interest to me. So, once I'd read the local paper and caught up with the US news online I didn't know what to do with myself. I decided I'd just cut the lights, lay down and put the iPod on to see what came the little elf in charge of shuffle would deliver. On song 13 he delivered the goods, Kendall Payne's "Scratch" I'm on play 12 and still going strong.

I remember hearing the song on Grey's Anatomy and downloaded it because I'd thought it was beautiful and haunting, it's been a while since I listened to it, but tonight it was the perfect fit for how I've been feeling.

It's a big girl world now
Full of big girl things
And every day I wish I was small
I've been counting on nothing
But he keeps giving me his word
And I am tired of hearing myself speak
Do you get weary
Do you ever get weak
How do you dream
When you can't fall asleep

I used to think I was special
And only I have proved me wrong
I thought I could
Change the world with a song
But I have ended up in India
With no map to guide me home
The strangest place I think I've ever been
And all this time I thought that we were friends
My stubborn will is learning to bend

I played it so many times I finally had to get up and do a little internet search to see if I could find out more about the origins of the song and found a great explanation by Kendall Payne in response to another fan who just couldn't get it out of her head:


Thanks for writing. I remember when I was on tour with the Lilith Fair, and during a press conference someone asked Sarah McLaughlin to explain the meaning behind a song. She asked them, “What does it mean to you?” The girl who asked the question gave a long, drawn out story of what she thought it might mean and Sarah simply replied, “Then, that is what it means.”

That has left a lasting impression on me, as most of Sarah’s actions and words have. Because, songs take on their own life, their own meaning to those who care about them. That is my only fear in ever explaining why I wrote a song. I am afraid it will somehow take away the meaning from someone else. But oh well, here it goes…

I was on tour opening for Dido. This was many years ago. I was not getting adequate sound check time and I was pissed. Like many ‘green’ performers, I decided that throwing a hissy fit might get me what I wanted. So I called my manager and my A&R guy and my boyfriend and I let them all have it.

I remember sitting on a chair in my hotel room talking to my A&R guy at Capitol and he told me a story. He said, “Kendall, when I was a young man I knew I wanted to travel the world. And specifically, I knew I wanted to travel to India. So I saved some money and planned a trip there. The night before I left, an old wise friend came to me and said, ‘do yourself a favor, if you are going to travel to India, leave behind all your ideas of the western world, and simply embrace India for what it is. Do not expect it to be something, because you’ll be disappointed. Simply go there and experience it for what it is.’”

He then went on to say, “Kendall, you have never toured like this before. You have never been on a major label; you have never done all these things. So instead of insisting that it go your way, why don’t you try and embrace it for what it is. Leave behind all your opinions, demands and rights and simply experience it.”

I hung up the phone with him, not comforted in the least. I opted to call my boyfriend, who was even less comforting. He gave me the line, “We need to talk, it’s not bad, but it’s not good.” Which in guy code means, “I want to break up with you, but I don’t want you to make me feel bad about it.” And to top it off, I heard voices in the background at his house. I asked him who was there. He said some girls had just stopped by and they were going to watch a movie. The hot tears flooded my eyes.

I felt totally alone in that San Francisco hotel room. The first lyric literally poured out of me, “It’s a big girl world now, full of big girl things. And every day I wish I was small.”

So maybe it’s a love song, maybe it’s a song crying out to God, maybe it’s song for jaded grownups who have bought into the sham. I think the finds a different meaning for me every time I sing it.

Hope that helps a tiny bit, without stealing your own meaning.

I nearly stopped reading her explanation after the second paragraph, afraid I'd ruin the meaning the song had started to take on for me, but as I continued reading I found the song was enhanced. I didn't just related to the song because I'm in India, but because I'm at a point in my life where I don't know what to expect. There are days where I find myself wishing I could go back to those little girl dreams and try again, but then the big girl in me steps up to the plate and I realize that I may not always know what is coming next, but I know the important things: who I am, why I'm here and ultimately where I'm going.

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Long Way Round

I just finished reading a great book, "Long Way Round" by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman. It's the story of their four month motorcycle journey from London through Europe and Asia to Magadan Siberia, then from Alaska to New York City. It was one of those books I just couldn't put down, I loved reading about their adventures as they met people in all walks of life and as they struggled to get across very difficult terrain.

Their hardships made me realize how good I have it and made me resolve to complain a bit less about some of the discomforts here in Delhi. At least I'm not camping and don't have to worry about how to cross a raging river on a motorcycle!

I also realized that I have something in common with them:

"I'd gone in search of adventure and an alien culture. I'd found both and now I wanted more."
-Ewan McGregor

I love finding myself in a foreign culture and the growth that comes as I stretch myself to adapt and find ways to survive.

Every time I picked up the book I found myself with one of my favorite Norah Jones covers in my head (Tom Waite did the original), "The Long Way Home"

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Saturday, April 12, 2008


Summer has arrived in Delhi - yesterday the temp hit 97, today and tomorrow more of the same, Monday it's up to 99 and then Tuesday, 101!

Everyone told me that the worst of it is from June to August; and since I'm out of here (for a while) at the end of May, I figured I'd miss the really hot stuff, but in my mind it's just hot and miserable once you cross that 100 degree mark.

Every time I've been outside in the last couple of days, I can't get the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City" out of my head:

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck, getting burnt and gritty

The gritty part is particularly true, Delhi seems to be permanently covered in layers of dusty and dirt.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I've officially been in India long enough to have slipped into a routine. It's starting to feel less like a vacation and more like work. It could have something to do with the fact that we've now found actual office space and are going into the office and working regular hours.

Up until this week even getting in the car to go anywhere felt like an adventure, there was always something new to see, but now after several weeks going to the same basic places, it seems there isn't as much to see. I'm going to have to shake things up again soon.

Today is the perfect day for Stereophonic's "Have a Nice Day"

Lie around all day
Have a drink to chase
"Yourself and tourists, yeah
That's what I hate"
He said "We're going wrong
We've all become the same
We dress the same ways
Only our accents change

So have a nice day
Have a nice day

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Sunday, April 6, 2008


I think I’m addicted.

Wait, don’t they say the first step of recovery is admitting you have a problem?

I’m addicted to being online.

I’m planning a holiday in June, my first real holiday in nearly 3 years. You know the type of holiday where you go someplace new (and not for work, just for the sheer joy of exploring someplace new.) I’m planning on a cruise in the Baltic Sea for 10 days, it’s going to be heaven, I’ll visit some great cities: Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallin, Gdask and Oslo and because I’ll be on a ship, I won’t have to think, plan or strategize about how to get to the next place.

Where does the addiction come in? I’ve had several people ask me if I’m taking my computer with me. The instant answer was yes, I mean after all, I’d need to check the internet to find places in each city to visit and to check in with the rest of my life 10 days is a very long time.

This evening a friend asked me if I knew how much it cost to connect from a ship, I hadn’t given it much thought, If McDonalds can offer free WiFi surely a cruise ship will too. Turns out that may not be so true. And, being the cheapskate that I am, I started to reevaluate my decision to bring a laptop along and started to think about how nice it might feel to have a few days when I didn’t have to obsessively check email or skype. Frankly, except for a couple of sick days back in January I can’t remember the last time I had an unconnected day.

However, the true sign that I’m addicted was arriving home tonight to discover our router is dead and we’re unable to get online. I’ve found I don’t know what to do with myself for the rest of the evening. So I decided I would blog in Word and transfer it over when we get back online. It’s clear, I’m addicted.

In honor of my addiction, one of the funniest songs of last year, Brad Paisley’s “Online” (to be filled in later after I can get back online again to get the link)

UPDATE: It's now Sunday afternoon and we are still without internet at home, I've resorted to going to our other apartments just so I can get online.
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Thursday, April 3, 2008


So, I just finished reading Freakonomics - an interesting change of pace for me. My favorite question the authors posed (and answered):

If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their mothers?

If my econ teachers had taught econ like the authors of this book I might have paid more attention in class. Pin It

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Homesick II

Day 37 and homesickness has arrived. I can't decide who I miss more:

Sadie, or

Today seems to call for a little Bon Jovi with some help from Sugarland - "Who Says You Can't Go Home?"

I spent 20 years trying to get out of this place

I was looking for something I couldn't replace

I was running away from the only thing I've ever known

Like a blind dog without a bone

I was a gypsy lost in the twilight zone

I hijacked a rainbow and crashed into a pot of gold

I been there, done that and I ain't lookin' back on the seeds I've sown,

Saving dimes, spending too much time on the telephone

Who says you can't go home

Who says you can't go home

There's only one place they call me one of their own

Just a hometown boy, born a rolling stone, who says you can't go home

Who says you can't go back, been all around the world and as a matter of fact

There's only one place left I want to go, who says you can't go home

It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, its alright

I went as far as I could, I tried to find a new face

There isn't one of these lines that I would erase

I lived a million miles of memories on that road

With every step I take I know that I'm not alone

You take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home

These are my streets, the only life I've ever known,

who says you can't go home

I been there, done that and I ain't looking that

It's been a long long road

Feels like I never left, that's how the story goes

It doesn't matter where you are, it doesn't matter where you go

If it's a million miles aways or just a mile up the road

Take it in, take it with you when you go,

who says you can't go home

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I've been feeling a bit homesick and nostalgic for Seattle lately, so last night I found myself skimming through the iPod listening to songs that reminded me of my home. The last one I listened to was Joe Purdy's "I Love the Rain the Most When it Stops," - the perfect song for my mood (made even better today when I remember I discovered Joe through Grey's Anatomy, my favorite Seattle-based show):

Well, I love the rain the most when it stops
We can see the big white houses, yeah, and the docks
And we can jump in the river, don't know if the water or sky is clearer
But I know that I love the rain the most when it stops
Yeah, when it stops

I woke up several times last night sure I could hear it raining outside, which I kept telling myself was absurd since we are two months away from the monsoon season. I was sure it was just my subconscious remembering of the song. To my surprise when I headed out of the flat this morning, dusty-Delhi had become muddy-Delhi and, as an added bonus, our basement office had flooded.

Now, while I'm sure science and mother-nature were mostly responsible for the rain. I can't help but think my homesickness for Seattle and music choice had something to do with the storm.

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